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UIL pushes back start date for 6A & 5A schools

First practice for teams in the bigger cities cannot return until September 7th
Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 12:53 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - The first day of school is about a month away, and many high school athletes are wondering if they will be returning to the fields or the courts this school year.

On Tuesday, the University Interscholastic League pushed back the start date of high school athletes for the 5A and 6A schools around the state.

This means that the first practice for teams in the bigger cities cannot return until September 7th at the earliest which affects all seven of Laredo and UISD teams.

While that date might sound good at the moment, both school districts’ athletic directors warn that this is still a very fluid situation.

Sylvia Barrera, the Athletic Director for LISD says right now they threw out a date just to have a target in mind, but she believes it’s going to change again because of what’s going on in our state.

Meanwhile, Bobby Cruz with UISD says, “We could come back four weeks from now and they could say, hey I’m sorry but nothing has really gone down, the cases are still spiking, it’s not very safe so we’re going to extend it another four weeks and then they might throw out another plan.”

As of now, the 6A and 5A schools won’t start up until September 3rd instead of August 7th but they still have the chance to get in a full season’s worth of games.

For football, that means still 11 weeks for ten games while volleyball, cross country, and tennis see their tournaments cut but for the most part keeping intact a near-full schedule.

Of course, all of this is predicated on local health authorities allowing this to happen.

One interesting wrinkle out of this is the ability for districts to break into zones, which would be big if another delay happens; as it would still allow for non-district games by splitting the districts into two separate groups.

UIL also sent down guidelines of screening kids on a daily basis, transportation rules, and also how districts can allow fans in.

On that note, anyone not actively in the game will need to wear a face-covering and be at a max of 50 percent capacity.

While a lot of those rules make sense some are a little more head-scratching, like keeping locker rooms at half capacity during football.

As of now, the districts are doing the best they can to abide by these rules, and while safety is first and foremost on their minds ... The day to play will come again.

While UIL pushed back the start day for the schools that make up Laredo and United ISDs, as of now the smaller schools like Zapata and Bruni are still able to start on the normal August 3rd dates.

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